It is very important that modern storytelling is discussed in the context of the ethical issues associated with the different types of media. It is vital that young people understand how to protect themselves and know how to communicate appropriately.
The focus is on the art of storytelling rather than the technical skills needed to use social media.
This is an introduction to the video, social media and blogging workshops. It is strongly recommended that participants do this activity before participating in any of the other workshops.
1. Introduce this workshop by explaining:
“Today we will explore storytelling and the different ways we can share stories today using the wide range of media that is available now. We will start by reflecting on what kinds of stories we find interesting. We will also discuss ethical issues related to using social media. What kind of social media or other ways of storytelling are you interested in using or exploring?
2. List the participants’ responses on a flipchart or chalkboard. It may be useful to divide them into different kinds of media. For example:
- Visual media: Instagram, Vine, GIFs, YouTube, Vimeo etc. - Read about Video workshop
- Social media: Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. - Read about Social media workshop
- Blogs: WordPress, tumblr.com - Read about Blogging workshop
3. Now ask the participants, “What makes a good story?” Write down the criteria for each of the different kinds of media they have identified. Ask participants to give examples of stories or messages that have really caught their attention. Ask them to reflect on what it was that made these stories or messages good.
4. Ask the participants if they know what ‘civic journalism’ is? If no-one knows what the terms mean, you can use the following explanation from Wikipedia:
“Civic journalism (also known as public journalism) is the idea of integrating journalism into the democratic process. The media not only informs the public, but it also works towards engaging citizens and creating public debate.”
5. Ask the participants how they can engage in public debate and civic journalism using social media sites.
6. Now discuss the ethical issues connected to using social media. Discuss what ‘good’ or appropriate online behaviour is, and how people sometimes do things online they would not do in face-to-face communication.
Let the participants come up with suggestions first. If the following are not included, make sure you also discuss:
• using appropriate and respectful language
• not posting content that is not true or is based on rumours
• being non-discriminatory and non-judgemental
• not harming others emotionally or psychologically
• not posting videos, stories, pictures or photos of others without their permission.
7. Tell the participants that in the next few workshops they will be taking part in different storytelling activities, using visual media, social media and blogging. They will work in groups and choose a story they want to tell and create a message for each of the media types.
8. In preparation, ask them to work in pairs now, and brainstorm examples of good stories. Tell them to think either of a story from their own life or one that is common to them both.
Ask them to think of a way of telling this story in a way that fits the criteria they created for a ‘good story,’ and to consider how they would tell this story. For example, would they use videos or photos, short or long text, which media type would they use to share this story?
9. Give the pairs about 15 minutes to work on this. When everyone is ready, ask the pairs to share the stories they chose. Ask them to explain how they would present this story, detailing the type of media they would use. Ask the other participants to give their feedback. Remind the participants to include ethical considerations for all the story ideas.
10. End the activity by thanking the participants for their contributions. Explain the next steps for the workshops that follow. Depending on what resources you have, offer workshops in visual media, social media or blogging and ask the group to choose which workshop they want to do. Make sure you have balanced numbers of participants for each workshop.